It is important to reduce caregiver stress both for yourself and the one you are caring for. Taking care of a loved one is a lot of work. It can wear you down and cause a lot of stress in your life. Too often caregivers don’t take the time to take care of themselves.
You already have enough things to worry about. Work, the kids, money. Caring for someone in your home is stressful and can put an enormous amount of strain on the other members of your family and your relationships with them.
Reduce Caregiver Stress in Just 5 Easy Steps
There are several different things you can do to relieve stress, depending on your own situation.
1. Take Care Of You to Reduce Caregiver Stress
You need to take time out for yourself, regardless of what that might be. Self-care is more than just taking a relaxing bath or treating yourself to ice cream. It’s eating properly and getting enough sleep. And you must get exercise to keep your body in top shape. Furthermore, spend some time on your own for your mental well being.
Go for a swim or a walk. And say yes to the soothing bath and ice cream occasionally. It doesn’t need to be a big deal. But it is important to do something that makes you happy and doesn’t add to your stress. The small things you do can help to reduce caregiver stress.
It also means saying no. Don’t over-extend yourself. Say no to the kids or other family members who need favors. Say no to extra work, either at your job or at home. You already do enough.
2. Ask for and Accept Help
Don’t be afraid to reach out to family and friends for help. And if someone offers to help, let them. No one can do everything on their own. There are also agencies and other support groups that can offer extra funds if you need them. And there are care workers to relieve you plus other resources available.
Get your family to help with the care so it is evenly disbursed. They all need to help so everyone understands what is going on. Break up tasks for everyone to do, like getting groceries, do the laundry, take shifts for caring for your loved one, and helping each other through this together.
Even if you just need to ask the neighbor to drop by for an hour or so so that you can get away. Just taking yourself out for a cup of coffee or a nice lunch will make a world of difference and greatly reduce caregiver stress.
3. Seek Support to Reduce Caregiver Stress
Joining a support group of people who are going through the same things you are can really help. Unburden on strangers who understand. You are bound to be feeling all kinds of emotions. And you may not feel comfortable sharing with other family members, even though, they are likely feeling it, as well.
Sharing these feelings with family and friends can also be very helpful. Your family is experiencing it, as well. Go out with friends and talk about and participate in other things that you enjoy.
4. Be Realistic
Guilt is a powerful motivator but it’s important to know your limitations. There are going to be things you are just unable to do. If it simply becomes too much for you, look into finding care facilities that are able to care for your loved one.
You need to know when it’s time to get help or take the care to the next level No one expects miracles from you, so take a long, realistic look at what you can and can’t do. That’s what care facilities are there for.
Even if you simply have someone come in throughout the day for assistance in bathing or to sit with your loved one while you get other things taken care of. Most cares still have families and jobs that need to be taken care of, so their plates are awfully full.
5. Get A Hobby
Doing something you enjoy can really help relieve stress and give you something to look forward to. Take up knitting, go bowling, take an evening class, volunteer somewhere like your local animal rescue.
Whether it is something you do on your own or with a friend or your partner is up to you. If you share the caring duties with your partner, you may want to enjoy some time together on a project you both enjoy.
Take dance lessons, set up a regular date night where you see a movie, or go out for dinner. It’s very nice to have someone take care of you after a long week of taking care of someone else.
Caring For Caregivers
It’s important to understand that the care worker needs care, too. Whether it is a family member or a hired carer, they need relief, support, and understanding. It is a difficult position to be in and it comes with a lot of emotions that can take over and cause us stress.
Taking care of yourself first should be your priority, regardless of who you are looking after.
The staff at Sycamore Creek Ranch is proactive. That means we are not waiting for a problem to arise. Instead, we are actively engaged with each and every resident. And with only 16 residents we can do that! Come for a tour at Sycamore Creek Ranch! See how we can help!